1978. That’s when it began for me…..a love for a group of people I had just met. I went with my church youth group to Battle Creek, Michigan, to have Vacation Bible School with the children in a migrant farmworker village. The Latino families were there for the summer to harvest cucumbers and strawberries. The children told us they were “picking pickles.” They spent other months of the year in Georgia, Florida, Texas, and other southern states, when it was harvest time in those areas. Definitely a difficult life. They were simply fathers trying to feed their families, just like most men I’ve ever known. They worked hard, long days. They endured a lifestyle and conditions most of us would not. I was impressed with their work ethic. I was moved by their joy.
We went back the next summer. Those two weeks of two summers in my youth have been imprinted permanently on my heart. They changed me.
Many years have passed since then. Three decades of education and work in a variety of fields and places. But, there has been one recurring theme, one single word that has held onto me and never let go: Latinos. I have here and there pursued vocations and locations that would have brought me closer to this call on my life, but none of those efforts worked out like I hoped. Interestingly enough, a recent unexpected circumstance has thrust me right into the desire of my heart. What I keep hearing is “it’s time.”
As a result, I have established a ministry in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the purpose of reaching out to Latino families in Middle Tennessee. Hispanic Family Center provides classes for adults (English, GED, computer), tutoring and activities for children and teenagers, and other assistance to increase acclimation in the community. Our motivation is simple: to share the love of God and provide educational services for our Latino families. We need your help to make this happen!
I will keep you updated with new blogs as often as possible. Please help us spread the word by inviting your friends to visit our website. Email or call me for more information and for ways to get involved with Hispanic Family Center. I look forward to hearing from you!
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